How to Make Full Body Hand Puppets

Written by alexis kezirian
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How to Make Full Body Hand Puppets
(Jupiterimages/ Images)

Crafting a full body puppet is an enticing activity for all ages. Puppets can be used and reused for an extended amount of time, but take only around an hour to create. You will be surprised by the vivacity of these full-body crafts--as well as the endless amount of characters you invent.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Two pieces of material (e.g., fur for animals or felt for characters) bigger than your hand
  • Piece of cardboard bigger than your hand
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread (that matches the colour of the material)
  • Pencil or non-permanent pen
  • Cotton/cotton balls
  • Coloured material for puppet's clothing (if applicable)
  • Craft supplies (e.g., eyes, markers, glitter)
  • Craft glue

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    Designing Your Template

  1. 1

    Choose an animal or character you would like to model the hand puppet after.

  2. 2

    Draw an outline of the animal--as if its arms and legs were sprawled outwards and it was laying on its stomach--onto the piece of cardboard. Make sure that the tracing is larger than the hand that will be playing with the puppet.

  3. 3

    Cut out the traced area of the cardboard to create your template.

  4. 4

    Make the bottom of this template (where the hand will be inserted--not the outstretched legs) flat.

    Creating the Puppet

  1. 1

    Lay a piece of material facedown before you on a flat surface.

  2. 2

    Place the template on top of the material's backside. Trace carefully around the template and cut out the pattern.

  3. 3

    Repeat Steps 1 and 2 with the second piece of material.

  4. 4

    Line the two pieces of material on top of each other, right sides out.

  5. 5

    Sew together only the head of the puppet by threading along the outer edges at the top of the puppet. Stop sewing when you reach the area which forms the character's neck.

  6. 6

    Stuff the inside of the sewn area with cotton until the head is given its desired shape.

  7. 7

    Clinch the neck of the puppet and tightly sew it together in order to secure the cotton in its place.

  8. 8

    Sew the rest of the body together along the materials' aligned edges. Remember not to sew the bottom (the flat edge) because this is where the hand will be inserted.

  9. 9

    Stuff the legs with cotton in a similar manner to how the head was stuffed. Clinch together the area where each leg meets the character's body and thread the cotton securely inside the leg.

  10. 10

    Leave the arms without cotton stuffing--this is where your fingers will be inserted to control the puppet.

    Decorating the Puppet

  1. 1

    Use additional materials to glue on clothing, shoes and accessories for your puppet.

  2. 2

    Add features such as eyes, a nose and a mouth to your character with glue and craft supplies.

  3. 3

    Wait for the character's features and accessories to dry before beginning to play with it.

Tips and warnings

  • The closer you sew to the outside of where the two pieces of material align, the less noticeable the seams will be.
  • To avoid injury, do not cut the material while it is on your hand.
  • Always exercise caution around scissors and sharp objects.

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